My town near Rochester, NY is in the path of Hurricane Sandy. Category 1 hurricanes probably aren’t such a big deal in the southern part of the country as they deal with them often. I have lived here 18 years and this will be the first time a storm of that magnitude has come through, this far north inland. Of course it won’t be hurricane-strength when it gets here, but the winds will be pretty strong at 35-40mph with gusts up to 60mph.
My number one worry is losing power and having a refrigerator full of food going bad. So I headed out to the grocery store today to make sure I had enough non-perishables. I made the mistake of going down the aisle with the bottled water as there were two women fighting over the two cases that were left. They were creating such a scene that people were stopping to watch. Thank goodness I didn’t want any. I stored several bags of ice in my freezer as it was being made in the icemaker. That serves two purposes: 1) if the power goes out, it will help keep the fridge cold longer; and 2) if, for some reason, we need a supply of water, we can just take out a bag of ice and let it melt.
After I picked up the things on my list (and by the way, batteries are expensive so I opted for a cheaper LED light that came with batteries for 1/3 the cost of putting batteries in my maglite that takes 6 D-cells), I headed toward the check out area. It is usually busy on Sunday, but I would guess that there was at least double the traffic as usual. The gentleman in front of me in line had a cart full of canned food, flashlight packs and bottled water (apparently he got his before the altercation going on in the water aisle). The total bill was over $150.
Now, I would never spend that much on stuff I probably would never eat, like canned raviolis and lazagna. I wouldn’t eat that stuff either, unless I was desperate. I spent $36 augmenting the snacks and things I already have on hand; and I bought a big bag of charcoal so I can cook what I already have for meals if I don’t have power. I bought some things to eat if the power is out for a few days, like peanut butter, bread, tuna and only a couple cans of soup and prepared stew. I think I’m set for a few days anyway even if my plan for grilling doesn’t work out (we usually do it in the garage when the weather is bad).
I guess some people just miss the main point of being prepared – to have something to eat if you can’t eat what’s in your fridge. Crackers and peanut butter work great, along with raisins and other fruits, baked goods, nuts, dry cereal, trail mix, granola bars, beans, veggies, and other healthy things that many people already have. I also think store-bought bottled water is overrated when you can make your own. It’s amazing the kinds of misery people are willing to foist on themselves with the yucky prepared meals in a can, and spend a quite a bit on doing it.
[Update Monday 10/29 21:15 pm EDT] It’s quite windy. I don’t know the speed of the wind, but it feels like the kind that would blow one off their feet. Haven’t had any problems with power yet, although there was some flashing of the lights as I am writing this update which is a new development. Crossing my fingers it was just a glitch and not a harbinger of things to come.
There’s word of evacuations along the shore of Lake Ontario in Monroe County, NY. I have no idea where these people are supposed to go now that the storm has gotten underway. But, that is what I heard.
[Update Tuesday 10/30 01:42 EDT] Still have power. Didn’t get blown all the way Chicago. The worse of it is supposed to be pretty much over. The wind is still howling, but not near as gusty as it was and it has stopped raining – for now anyway. I’m on the far east side of Monroe County, almost to Wayne County, and Wayne County has terminated their state of emergency and closed their emergency operations. So I can probably go get some sleep now with a little less anxiety about needing to handle an emergency.